Customer psychology refers to human behavior in regard to people’s buying habits, traditions, values, and preferences and plays a very important role in any business. Many companies are now leveraging customer psychology to improve user engagement. However, most businesses are still missing the essentials of customer psychology, which causes them to lose out on potential business opportunities.
Could companies lose customers over something as minor as the color of a button or the layout of text on their Web site? Yes! In this article, I’ll share a few principles of customer psychology that could help you improve your Web site's usability and customer experience and, as a result, increase user engagement. Redesigning their Web site to achieve better user engagement has benefited some of the industry’s best brands by attracting new customers and multiplying their return on investment (ROI).
Using Color to Attract Customers
Colors evoke distinct emotions, so use them to establish the ambiance for your Web site. Colors have an impact on how your customers perceive your company. So, when creating a business logo for your brand, think about how you can use color to create a mood and appeal to your customers’ emotions in a completely new way.
According to Joe Hallock’s work on color assignment, each color carries a particular meaning on a subconscious level, as Figure 1 shows. This implies that you should research your color palette and choose hues that reflect your values and evoke the emotions you want your customers to feel.
Take the example of Starbucks and their famous white-and-green coffee cups, which have a circular shape. The green color signifies that the brand treats its customers and partners well. The color green also suggests that they treat their farmers with care.
Colors and Branding Go Hand in Hand
A brand’s colors play a large role in defining the brand identity of your business. Colors affect how customers perceive and relate to a brand. Brands use colors to convey a specific message to customers. Studies have shown that color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent. Here are some examples of the feelings that people associate with specific colors.
Red—People associate this color with excitement and energy.
Orange—People connect this color with playfulness. This color has broad appeal for many customers and, thus, many brands.
Yellow—This color suggests optimism and promise.
Green—This color represents nature, stability, and prosperity. It is the color of optimism and, for many people, is a favorite color.
Blue—This is a popular color for many brands. People associate this color with trust, which helps instill confidence in a company. It also helps people to become calm.
White—This denotes simplicity, cleanliness, and virtue.
Black—This suggests sophistication, discipline, and luxury.
Creating a Feeling of FOMO
The fear of missing out (FOMO) can create an eagerness in the customer’s mind to buy now. People make quicker purchasing decisions when they see messages such as Only 2 left in stock or a limited offer.
Huawei advertised a free gift to the first 100 customers to purchase their product. Such an offer could cause FOMO in potential customers, prompting them to buy the product as soon as possible and, thus, qualify for the free gift.
Such urgent messages have the potential to increase both customer engagement and business revenues—simply by making people feel as if they could miss out if they do not act immediately. However, you must offer something that would genuinely make your customers feel as if they might be missing out. Never communicate false messages of urgency that could have an adverse impact on your business’s reputation.
The Halo Effect
The halo effect is a form of cognitive bias that impacts how we feel and think about something or someone. Depending on our first impressions or judgments, something could generate a positive or a negative halo.
First impressions matter. Therefore, making a good first impression during your company’s initial interactions with new customers is vital. Unfortunately, negative impressions leave an even longer-lasting imprint on customers’ minds.
A customer’s positive first experience with a particular brand helps create a heavenly halo around the company’s other products and services in the mind of that customer. This halo effect creates brand loyalty and inspires customers to think that, if you’re good at one aspect of business, you’ll be good at others, too.
The best example of this is Apple. People typically have no doubt that whatever product they launch next, people will be waiting in line to buy it.
The psychologist Robert Cialdini coined the term social proof to describe how people react when they’re not confident about how they should act in a given situation. Rather than relying on their own experience or intuition, they seek advice from others on what they should do. That’s why positive ratings and likes foster positive feelings in customers, as shown in Figure 2.
Incorporate social proofs in your Web site—such as customer reviews, positive customer feedback about your products or services, real images of the products they purchased, and so forth. All social proofs inspire customers to buy and to trust your brand. Here are some examples:
Friends-and-family referrals account for 40% of customers’ finding new brands to follow online.
Before making a purchase, 91% of shoppers examine online reviews.
More than 80% of Americans seek referrals and recommendations from family and friends before making any kind of purchase.
In a nutshell, social proof increases your company’s sales.
If you feature your support for specific charities on your Web site and encourage the giving of charitable donations through your business, consumers who share the same values are more likely to become your customers. This is an extremely beneficial way of increasing customer engagement, as well as your Web site’s conversion rates.
Including a donation program in your business model can help boost your revenues, attract new customers, and strengthen your connections to the communities in which you do business. Plus, don’t forget the added benefit of a tax deduction when you’re starting such activities.
Tom’s Shoes is the ultimate example of charity. For each pair of shoes a customer purchases from Tom’s Shoes, the company donates a pair of shoes to someone in need.
They delivery of a remarkable customer experience might require a complete transformation of a company’s business methods and values. Ultimately, a business must connect to its customers emotionally to improve user engagement. Start applying the principles of customer psychology that I’ve shared in this article and you can increase your conversions. Apply these principles wisely on your Web site, and you’ll be on your way to earning customers for life.
Manager of Digital Marketing at Ace Infoway Pvt. Ltd.
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
At Ace Infoway Pvt. Ltd., a leading Web and mobile-app development company with offices in Los Angeles and India, Rajat is a full-stack marketer whose focus is UX design, conversion optimization, and disciplined creativity, while implementing growth strategies to attain our organizational goals. Read More